Alves Or Clyne: Who Should Man United Sign?

Old Trafford Stadium, inside

The position of right-back seems to be one that Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes needs to be significantly bolstered.

Rafael da Silva will be entering the final year of his contract when the summer arrives. The Brazilian has a history of changing his fortunes and becoming an integral part to United’s play. But injuries always seem to come along and hamper his progress. When he has played this season he hasn’t convinced his club manager that he is the long-term problem solver for the right-back slot.

Wide-man Antonio Valencia can fill in as a full-back but he’s better going forward. Any defensive mistakes from the Ecuadorian get pounced upon as he isn’t a natural defender. A fine back-up as he always gives his all, even in an unfamiliar position but not good enough to play in the right-back role in a full-time capacity.

Youngster Paddy McNair has just signed a new deal and Van Gaal stated he could be a full-back sensation…

‘He has done it already in the second team [Under-21s] and has done it now at a higher level in the first team. Maybe he shall be the right fullback of Manchester United for the next 10 years, you never know. He has the chance.’

Now again I’d imagine McNair is a great back-up for that position but I am unsure he’ll be ready for a full season in the Premier League and Champions League next term.

So I think Man United could be on the lookout for a new right-back come the summer. With that in mind it seems like we should look at who they’d go for, if the opportunity arises.

Two names stand-out.

Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne and Barcelona’s Dani Alves.

Both international players have tremendous credentials.


Dani Alves:

We all know about Alves. He’s been one of the worlds best right-backs for the last decade or so. At Barca he’s won everything. A major plus, well he’s available on a free transfer this summer.

The Brazilian still has bags of energy and loves nothing more than galloping forward. He would arrive at Old Trafford with plenty of experience and Champions League ready. He’s also made seventy-nine appearances for Seleção.

This season he hasn’t got a La Liga goal but does have four assists. In his twenty-three league appearances, Dani has played 1916 minutes and has been booked on six occasions.

That said he doesn’t have any experience of playing in the Premier League, at thirty-two he isn’t getting any younger and his wage packet will be huge.

A lot will depend on Dani Alves’ mental state. If hungry to succeed then anything could happen. But his mind and heart may still be in Barcelona, especially if his family remain in Catalonia.

Man United need to judge what kind of veteran right sided Brazilian defender they’d get… Maicon (disaster) or Cafu (Brilliant).


Nathaniel Clyne: 

As Southampton have enjoyed a super season, Nathaniel Clyne has been pivotal in that success.

The twenty-four year old has also broken into the England set-up this term, adding four caps to his name.

Clyne has started twenty-nine league fixtures this campaign, staying on the pitch for an impressive 2607 minutes. The defender has no assists but has scored twice. His disciplinary record has been fantastic this season with the player only picking up three yellow cards.

Another right-back that likes to get forward and has a terrific engine. He’s also strong and very good at the defending part (some people forget about that bit).

Clyne may still be young but he’s got a smart head on his shoulders. He rejected offers from bigger clubs when he left Crystal Palace in 2012. The full-back decided on Southampton because they gave youngsters a chance and were back in the English Premier League (EPL). Three seasons on and he’s now a proven EPL performer.

The fact he’s English is a bonus due to the homegrown quotas teams need to fill these days.

United could have a few concerns about signing Nathaniel. Firstly, it could be a costly move with a fee in the region of £18m plus. Then there’s the fact that he has no Champions League experience. Finally, Luke Shaw was an expensive buy from Southampton last summer and that move hasn’t gone swimmingly for Man Utd this term.

Both players obviously have pros and cons. But I’d say that either would enhance the Manchester United roster, if they play to their full potentials.

For me though, I’d plump for Nathaniel Clyne. He’s younger and probably hungrier. After serving his apprenticeships at Palace and the Saints, I think he’s ready for that step up and could become Man Utd’s best right-back since Gary Neville!

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